Green & Black's (Chocolate Brand)

Green & Black’s is a UK-based chocolate company best known for it’s range of organic and Fair Trade chocolate bars. They are currently part of Kraft Foods, but have a higher degree of autonomy than most other Kraft chocolate brands.

History of Green & Black’s Chocolate

The company was started in 1991 by macrobiotic restauranteur Craig Sams and his wife Josephine Fairley with the aim of producing traceable, organic chocolate.

In 1994, Green & Black’s produced their first chocolate bar, Maya Gold. Made from cocoa beans from the Toledo Cacao Growers Association (TCGA) farmer’s co-operative in Belize since along with orange, cinnamon and nutmeg, it was the first UK product to carry the ‘Fairtrade’ mark. The company also sources its cacao from the Dominican Republic.

Green & Black’s product range rapidly expanded, with 70% dark chocolate bars, flavoured bars (including milk and white chocolate) and other chocolate-based products like cocoa powder, hot chocolate and ice cream. All the products are certified organic by the UK Soil Association, although until recently only a few were certified as Fairtrade. In 2010, however, they committed to Fairtrade certification for all its products by the end of 2011, and that transition has now been completed.

Buying Green & Black’s Online

Green & Black’s chocolate and a whole range of gifts can be bought online from their Green and Black’s Direct.

Current Product Range

Green & Black’s current product range includes:

  • 34% Milk Chocolate
  • 70% Dark Chocolate
  • 85% Dark Chocolate
  • Creamy Milk (30% Dominican Republic milk chocolate)
  • Espresso (70% dark with coffee)
  • Caramel (34% milk with soft caramel centre)
  • Almond (37% milk chocolate with almond pieces)
  • Ginger (60% dark chocolate with crystalised ginger)
  • Maya Gold (55% dark chocolate with orange, vanilla, nutmeg and cinnamon
  • Raisin & Hazelnut (40% milk chocolate with fruit & nut)
  • Butterscotch (34% milk chocolate with butterscotch pieces)
  • Hazelnut & Currant (60% dark chocolate with fruit & nut)
  • Cherry (60% dark chocolate with whole cherries)
  • Mint (70% dark chocolate with mint fondant)

Green and Black's chocolate bars

Green & Black’s Challenge

In 2010, Green & Black launched a promotion to find an assistant for their head chocolatier (officially “Head of Taste”) Micah Carr-Hill. Part job interview and part X-Factor style PR campaign, the challenge involved a series of events a TV ad campaign, interviews and tastings. The position was eventually filled by journalist William Leigh.

Availability

From the start, Green & Black’s chocolate has been widely available in the UK from supermarkets to newsagents. For many British consumers, it is their first introduction into the world of real, dark chocolate as it is often sold alongside confectionery chocolate, which in the UK still consists primarily sugar and fat rather cocoa. There can be few companies who have done more to turn consumers on to real chocolate at a grass roots level. Although not considered an artisan brand, it is still very much respected, both for the quality of its product and its ethics.

Company Ownership

In 2005, Cadbury Schweppes purchased Green & Black’s for around £20 million. With the purchase of Cadbury by Kraft in 2009 for £10 billion, the company is now part of one of the largest food conglomerates in the world. According to their website, the Green & Black’s believes this will “help us maintain our growth and take Green & Black’s further as an international organic chocolate brand”.

Video: The Maya Gold Story